YMMV / Rope

  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • Does Philip deserve sympathy? Is he just weak willed and manipulated by Brandon's persuasion? Or was he perfectly willing to go along with David's murder and is his remorse merely fear of getting caught?
    • The nature of the two men's relationship as well. In the play the film is based on, they're clearly gay. In the film it's relegated to subtext. The apartment has two rooms (Brandon makes mention of "the first bedroom") and none of their friends seem to find anything odd in their behaviour. There is the possibility that Philip is gay and Brandon isn't (since he mentions a past relationship with Janet - though that could be Janet as The Beard), adding to the possibility that Philip went along with everything out of a one-way crush.
    • How much sympathy does Rupert deserve? He's spent his whole career lecturing people on his insane philosophies, so is his reaction to discovering the murder either Even Evil Has Standards or Never My Fault?
  • Award Snub: Fans these days are shocked that John Dall was never nominated for an award for his chilling yet Affably Evil portrayal of Brandon.
  • Crosses the Line Twice:
    • Invoked by Rupert where he suggests murdering other diners in order to get Mrs Atwater a better seat in a fancy restaurant, among other things. Mr Ketterly turns this into Dude, Not Funny!.
    • Brandon gets a bit of very Black Comedy in by wrapping the books for Mr Ketterly in the very rope he strangled his son with. It's so shocking it's bound to incite chuckles.
    • Kenneth snarkily asks Brandon if he'd have David walk in on him and Janet in the bedroom. Brandon's response? "That'd be too much of a shock". Well he's not wrong.
  • Dancing Bear: Alfred Hitchcock regarded Rope as a failed experiment in stretching the limits of making a film as few cuts as possible. Film critics and historians would agree that the technical execution left much to be desired, but the writing and performances are still well regarded.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Mrs Atwater for being wonderfully pompous.
  • Funny Moments:
    • Janet might claim she's never funny but her one-liners beg to differ.
      Brandon: You look lovely.
      Janet: I won't by the time it's all paid for.
    • And when she spots Kenneth in the room, her Genki Girl tendencies vanish. She even remarks "I seem to have run down."
    • Brandon gets a good one in on Mrs Atwater.
      Mrs Atwater: When I was younger, I used to read quite a bit.
      Brandon: Well we all do strange things in our childhood.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: It's pretty much written into the film. Janet gives Kenneth a speech about how David became her Second Love - and she's looking forward to marrying him. But she won't get to marry him at all because he's been killed.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Mrs. Atwater being a fan of James Mason, who Hitchcock would later work with in North by Northwest.
    • Rupert suggesting that there should be a time of the year when murder is allowed in order to improve society would decades later go on to be the premise of the film, The Purge.
    • It's darkly hilarious that the actor who played David - Dick Hogan - did not appear in another film after this.
  • Ho Yay: Plenty between Brandon and Philip, especially at the start - intentionally so, it seems.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: As noted here, Rupert falls headlong into this. His discovery of David's corpse is meant to be a wake-up call that his philosophy is horrifying. And yet the film ignores the fact that Rupert influenced Brandon for years on it - only to refuse to take any responsibility towards the end. Rupert is one of the ultimate Karma Houdinis.
  • Values Dissonance: Of course the reason for the two men to be Ambiguously Gay is because the Hays Code would not allow for such a thing to be shown in a film.
  • Vindicated by History: The film was banned in several cities and Hitchcock never thought too highly of it. These days, while not to the extent of Vertigo, it's held up as one of his underrated films.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: James Stewart as an Ambiguously Gay Nietze Wannabe? Stewart himself viewed this as one of his weakest performances.
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